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  1. #1
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    What to eat days before a 100 mile ride

    I'm looking for some help regarding the proper foods to eat a few days before a 100 mile ride. Thanks.

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    so whatcha' want? bigskymacadam's Avatar
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    changing your diet or your plan now might make you feel worse for your ride. is there anyone else who thinks otherwise?

    (or is your ride later on in the season?)

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    Senior Member slim_77's Avatar
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    I agree. If you have been training for it then you have been eating well enough to supply that effort. So eat what has already worked for you.

    Well balanced, with perhaps an extra helping of carbs.

    Have fun on the ride!
    gravity: it's not just a good idea, it's the law.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Eat what you normally eat ... but perhaps keep it a bit blander than you normally would so you don't upset your digestive system. No need to make any drastic changes.

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    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Change nothing. Coming up to a race, I might change the proportion of foods I eat to more carbs, but nothing drastic. It'll be more important to eat / hydrate throughout the ride, and eat a good breakfast.

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    umd
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    I agree with everyone; don't change anything from what you normally do. Have a reasonable dinner and breakfast and keep up with your nutrition while you are on the bike and you should be good. What's the longest you've ridden and what do you normally do for food before and during the ride?

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    I disagree!!

    Heh. Not really. Keeping in mind the advice above, I find that it helps most to eat more the night before. Not necessarily anything special, just more of it. And eat early, like before 6 or so, so you'll have time to digest and, um, unload it before the start.

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    Mettle to the Pedals Dewbert's Avatar
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    Yep. I agree too. What you eat DURING the ride is much more important.
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    Senior Member Snow_canuck's Avatar
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    OK, What to eat during a ride? Those fancy bars from the LBS? Something else? How much and when? I'm n00b to the 100km ride. Throw me a bone. I ride 50km with out food on the road, just lots of the water. I want/will do a 100km ride in August.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow_canuck
    OK, What to eat during a ride? Those fancy bars from the LBS? Something else? How much and when? I'm n00b to the 100km ride. Throw me a bone. I ride 50km with out food on the road, just lots of the water. I want/will do a 100km ride in August.
    I would recomend trying the fancy bars from the LBS before using them on the bike. I absolutely HATE some of them and others I can eat but don't enjoy them that much.

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    NorCal Climbing Freak
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    Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, seriously. Come over prepared, I'd say. Fig newtons are good. As are baked potatoes. Cliff bars are fine if you aren't looking to spend too much time preparing the food that you'll bring.

    I did 80 miles last weekend on a Starbucks muffin and a gel. I would have liked to have more with me, but didn't.

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    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    You eat the same thing as you did the days before your long training rides, and eat during. If you haven't figured out your nutrition needs by now I'd say just eat normally and bring a few gels and lots of water.

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    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadbuzz
    I disagree!!

    Heh. Not really. Keeping in mind the advice above, I find that it helps most to eat more the night before. Not necessarily anything special, just more of it. And eat early, like before 6 or so, so you'll have time to digest and, um, unload it before the start.
    Pasta is especially good. Higher carbs ratio than normal. And eat breakfast 3 hours before the start. Seriously. If I'm sleeping near the start, I'll make a breakfast drink the night before, set my alarm, wake and drink it and go back to sleep. You want to have eaten but be starting to feel hunger pangs at the start, so eat a bar right then.

    As for on-the-bike bars, my fav is Clif Bars. Get 'em at Trader Joe's. Start the tear in the wrappers before the start. I can't get a Balance Bar down my throat while riding, though they eat easily at home. As others say, Fig Newtons are good. Big cookies are good, like chocolate chip. I don't like gels because of the gooey package. Must be a personal problem. Many people like Hammer Gel carried in the 6oz. flask. Bananas are good, but please don't leave the peel on the road. I sometimes see whole bananas on the road on charity rides.

    Canuck, you hang around here, you'll be doing centuries in June. If you can do 50k without eating, you can probably do a mile century now - or maybe with a little more butt toughening.

  14. #14
    Mettle to the Pedals Dewbert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow_canuck
    OK, What to eat during a ride? Those fancy bars from the LBS? Something else? How much and when? I'm n00b to the 100km ride. Throw me a bone. I ride 50km with out food on the road, just lots of the water. I want/will do a 100km ride in August.
    There are tons of correct answers to this one and it depends largely on your personal preferences and dietary needs. I'm a type I diabetic who eats only low-glycemic foods (in most cases that is), so what I eat tends to run a little out of the norm.

    On a ride over 50 miles or so, I tend to eat: apples, dried apricots, peanuts
    On rides of 65 miles or longer, I like to stop and eat a meal (usually a salad with some nuts and fruit as well as some lean meat or fish)

    However, I also tend to carry glucose tabs with me as well as some gels.....I never know how the old blood sugar levels are going to behave so better safe than sorry.

    Most riders I see, however, tend to rely on bananas, cookies, peanut butter and jelly, granola and various other higher carb foods.
    2008 Giant FCR3 (kitted up for touring)
    2006 Giant OCRc2 full-Carbon (for the sheer pleasure of riding)
    2005 Fuji MTB (for the snowy and muddy days)
    2007 Schwinn 7 Speed Alloy Cruiser (For getting to the Dairy Queen in style!)

    http://www.HowILost100Pounds.com

  15. #15
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by roadbuzz
    And eat early, like before 6 or so, so you'll have time to digest and, um, unload it before the start.
    I agree to the eating early part, but you aren't going to "unload" anything you ate at 6am before the start. It pretty much takes half to a full day for food to work its way through the system. I do > 100 miles once or twice a week and generally load up around 2-3am, go back to bed, then top off about an hour before the ride. I've done 100 miles with nothing (during the ride) but water, but generally prefer Clif bars on the bike, and ocassional stop for smoothies or other blended drinks/food.

    For example, my usual saturday 100+ miles ride consists of a short warmup and transit to the club ride start (about 7 miles, easy pace), the club ride around Santa Barbara & Goleta (35 miles, moderate to hard pace), then out of town by myself or with a few others (8 miles moderate to easy pace). Stop for smoothie in Summerland, relax and chit chat for 20-30 minutes, then continue on to Ventura [two cities over] (20 miles, moderate pace), usually by myself. I'll have a smoothie in Ventura and then head back home to Goleta (about 35 miles, moderate pace). I'll usually have a Clif bar somewhere along the way back from Ventura, and sometimes I'll also have one during the club ride portion. I'll often stop in downtown Santa Barbara on the way home for another smoothie, but only because I really like them and not because I need it to keep going.

    On the other hand if I'm riding with a group the whole time its harder to make stops; last weekend I rode to Santa Paula and back (about 110 miles) with only a stop in Santa Paula about 50 miles in (the route back was longer than the route out). I had breakfast where I waited for the group before the start, a fruit popsicle from a convenience store in Santa Paula, and a Clif bar somewhere along the way. When I was almost home I met my wife heading back out to Carpinteria and rode another 30 with her, having another Clif bar, a sandwich, and a Frappuccino from Starbucks. Mmmm... Starbucks... I've also ridden from Santa Barbara to Thousand Oaks hopping from Starbucks to Starbucks... That was fun!

    edit: note about the linked route--it doesn't include from my house to the start, or the return to Santa Barbara along the 192 from the 150 in Carpinteria.
    Last edited by umd; 03-23-07 at 10:55 AM.

  16. #16
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow_canuck
    OK, What to eat during a ride? Those fancy bars from the LBS? Something else? How much and when? I'm n00b to the 100km ride. Throw me a bone. I ride 50km with out food on the road, just lots of the water. I want/will do a 100km ride in August.
    You want to eat food that is predominately carbohydrates, easy to digest, and tastes good to you. Keep in mind that if you plan to eat while riding, the food needs to be easily accessible and manageable with one hand. Also, on a long ride, you may find that you have less saliva while riding and will need to drink some fluid with your food. Makes dry foods like crackers harder to eat.

    If you are doing an organized 100k then there will likely be rest stops with various snack foods available. If you are doing a self-supported 100k, then you can simply stop at convenience stores, or wherever you like, and buy food along the way. In either case, you don't need much food for a short 100K ride. Your glycogen stores should get you though it unless you are really hammering.

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    Thanks for the info

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    Senior Member VanceMac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd
    I do > 100 miles once or twice a week and generally load up around 2-3am, go back to bed, then top off about an hour before the ride.
    Is this a common practice? On most of my club rides, this isn't necessary, as we stop enough to keep fueling as much as necessary. But in preparing for an organized century or double, where I might have a time goal, would I be best served by filling up at 2am? Is it really that more effective than filling up at dinner, then having an early bowl of oatmeal/grapenuts?

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    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by umd
    I agree to the eating early part, but you aren't going to "unload" anything you ate at 6am before the start.
    Doh! It wasn't clear, but I meant 6pm, the night before.

    As far as the morning of, I just do my regular breakfast. Two scrambled eggs & toast or similar. I don't worry about eating x hours before the morning of a century or similar. Typically, it'll be an hour or two before I start, and I don't go hard enough early in a century that it's a problem. That way, it's still fueling my first hour or two. That might be a little risky for some... you probably have some idea about how riding affects your digestion (and vice versa). Working out when and how much to eat is a big part of training for a century. As is pacing yourself. When riding with a group, it's easy (and fun) to go too hard too soon. Hurts later.

  20. #20
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMac
    Is this a common practice? On most of my club rides, this isn't necessary, as we stop enough to keep fueling as much as necessary. But in preparing for an organized century or double, where I might have a time goal, would I be best served by filling up at 2am? Is it really that more effective than filling up at dinner, then having an early bowl of oatmeal/grapenuts?
    We don't really stop on our club ride except for regrouping. I dunno what's common, but I usually wake up HUNGRY at 2-3am and eat, then go back to bed. I ride a lot, every day, so I'm always shoving something in my mouth, making up for the previous ride and fueling up for the next. Its not like I gorge myself, just a couple slices of bread, or a bagel, or something similar.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Snow_canuck
    OK, What to eat during a ride? Those fancy bars from the LBS? Something else? How much and when? I'm n00b to the 100km ride. Throw me a bone. I ride 50km with out food on the road, just lots of the water. I want/will do a 100km ride in August.
    You can try those fancy bars from the LBS if you want ... you can get them cheaper at your local grocery store. You might even like them for the first year or two ... seems most people do. A suggestion ... get one of each kind ... there are about 50 different brands out there ... and see which one you like the best.

    You can also go with something else. I eat something else these days. I've been through the bar phase and can hardly face another one. I eat anything I crave when I ride. I've made lists of foods I eat before. I have one such list in a thread started by carbonfiberboy in the Long Distance forum. If you go with what you crave you'll know you are getting the nutrients you need.

    As for quantity ... 250 calories per hour between your solid food and your liquid food.

  22. #22
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMac
    Is this a common practice? On most of my club rides, this isn't necessary, as we stop enough to keep fueling as much as necessary. But in preparing for an organized century or double, where I might have a time goal, would I be best served by filling up at 2am? Is it really that more effective than filling up at dinner, then having an early bowl of oatmeal/grapenuts?
    Having observed and talked to numerous long distance (ultra distance) cyclists, I'd have to say that this is NOT a common practice. Lots of them talk about doing that ... as in, "Next time I'm going to ...", or "I've heard about this method where we should eat in the middle of the night ..." but I've never actually talked to anyone who has done that.

    I've ridden over 100 rides with distances of 100 miles or more. I've never tried it, but I've never felt I needed to either. To me, my sleep was more important.

  23. #23
    umd
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka
    Having observed and talked to numerous long distance (ultra distance) cyclists, I'd have to say that this is NOT a common practice. Lots of them talk about doing that ... as in, "Next time I'm going to ...", or "I've heard about this method where we should eat in the middle of the night ..." but I've never actually talked to anyone who has done that.

    I've ridden over 100 rides with distances of 100 miles or more. I've never tried it, but I've never felt I needed to either. To me, my sleep was more important.
    So I'd like to clarify that I don't set out to wake up and eat early in the mornng, I just happen to get up having to pee and find myself hungry. I've also found that that this early morning feeding doesn't affect my ability to go long distances, but it does make it easier for me to hammer on the club portion of my rides. I can go strong all day either way, but it seems that I have an easier time hanging in the paceline at 28-30mph and contesting the sprints when I eat like this compared to when I don't.

    And, to most "normal" people, I am a long-distance cyclist, but compared to people like you I'd say I'm not even close. Most of my "long "rides come in just over 100, but I've been starting to push it up a bit recently doing 120, 130, 140, etc. and Im signed up for the Solvang Double in a week.

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    If you can wake up in the middle of the night feeling hungry ... definitely eat! Eating at that time is probably a good thing because your food will be somewhat digested by the time you start riding.

    I, on the other hand, never feel hungry before about 10 am. I'd be sick if I tried to eat in the middle of the night!

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    carbs carbs carbs, read up on "carb loading"

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